Published June 22, 2013
| Sports Network
Toronto, ON – Rajai Davis drove in the game-winning run with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to help the Toronto Blue Jays down the Baltimore Orioles, 7-6, in the opener of a three-game set at Rogers Centre.
Munenori Kawasaki, who finished with two hits and three RBI, tied the game at 6-6 in the seventh with a two-run homer and moved runners in the ninth to second and third with a groundout to second. Pedro Strop then relieved Brian Matusz (2-1) with two done, but Davis ripped the right-hander's breaking ball offering into left-center field for the difference-maker.
"It felt like a different atmosphere out there," Davis said. "The fans were into it. Playing a good team in Baltimore, so it was definitely exciting to go out there and play."
Kawasaki's homer was the first of his MLB career, while Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion also homered for Toronto, winners of nine straight.
Casey Janssen (2-0) earned the win after tossing a 1-2-3 top of the ninth.
J.J. Hardy and Ryan Flaherty both hit a solo home run, while Chris Davis added a three-run shot for the Orioles, who had won two straight and eight of 11 coming in.
"Both teams swung the bat well. They matched us swing for swing. It was a battle all the way to the end," said Chris Davis.
R.A. Dickey started out well, but was doomed by a four-run sixth and allowed six runs on seven hits with five strikeouts over six frames.
Baltimore starter Jason Hammel also lasted six innings and allowed four runs on four hits with seven strikeouts.
The Blue Jays, who have their longest win streak since a 10-game run in 2008, got off to strong start and extended the team's lead to 3-1 in the fifth. Maicer Izturis walked, advanced to third on a groundout and foul out, respectively, before scoring on Kawasaki's RBI single up the middle.
Both squads utilized the longball over their next at-bats.
The Orioles looked to take control in the sixth as Dickey walked Nick Markakis with one out to put runners on first and second. Adam Jones' RBI single made it 3-2, and Davis followed with shot to right, his major-league leading 27th of the season, to put the visitors on top 5-3.
Encarnacion briefly cut the Jays' deficit to 5-4 with a solo shot in the sixth before Flaherty extended the edge back to two runs, 6-4, with a shot to right in the seventh.
In the home half, Toronto rallied with two outs to tie the game at 6-6. Facing Tommy Hunter with Izturis on first, Kawasaki came through with a two-out blast to right, an ideal time for his first homer of the season.
The Jays opened up the scoring in the first as Encarnacion smacked a two-out double and Lind followed with a shot to right, crushing Hammel's low breaking ball offering into the bleachers for a 2-0 lead.
Hardy helped the O's respond in top of the next inning with two-out solo blast, but Matt Wieters' strikeout one batter before came with a price. Baltimore manager Buck Showalter argued a foul tip call with home plate umpire Angel Hernandez and was promptly ejected from the game.
Toronto's last 10-game winning streak came from Aug. 30-Sept.9, 2008 ... The season series is tied, 4-4 ... Hammel, who is 0-2 in four starts this month, is still looking to give Baltimore two eight-game winners (Chris Tillman) before the end of June for the first time since 2006 ... Toronto's bullpen has gone 27 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run ... Reliever Brett Cecil has retired 40 batters without giving up a hit, the longest streak in team history ... Toronto evened its record to 36-36 this season.